“In a few years I must finish a certain work. I need not hurry myself; there is no good in that—but I must work on in full calmness and serenity, as regularly and concentratedly as possible, as briefly and concisely as possible.”
“The act of making art exposes a society to itself. Art brings things to light. It illuminates us. It sheds light on our lingering darkness. It casts a beam into the heart of our own darkness and says,‘see?’”
“The beauty of the world has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.”
“We must have strong self-confidence combined with deep humility. Some of the greatest works of art and the most important works of peace were created by people who had no need for the limelight. They knew that what they were doing was their call, and they did it with great patience, perseverance, and love.”
“The power of good literature comes from its ability to reveal us to ourselves in both our glory and our depravity. At its best, literature explores humanity, not just the humanity that we wish we could achieve, though there’s a place for that as well, but the humanity that is, both beautiful and ugly. That is why we read literature, and why it both captivates and disturbs our imaginations.”
“We routinely practice a form of faith, seeing clearly and moving toward a creative goal that shimmers in the distance—often visible to us, but invisible to those around us.
Difficult as it is to remember, it is our work that creates the market, not the market that creates our work. Art is an act of faith and we practice practicing it. Sometimes we are called on pilgrimages on its behalf and, like many pilgrims, we doubt the call even as we answer it. But answer we do.”
“Great art changes the way we look at the world.It doesn’t tell us what to think so much as it gives us the means to think more clearly. Clarity may not console, but it can exhilarate.”
“It is the highest of the arts to affect the quality of a day.”
≈≈≈Henry David Thoreau
“Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”
“…the work of a craftsman is not unlike that of a monk or nun or other kind of ascetic. For however many hours a day the craftsman dedicates herself to the materials of her art. She steps around her longing for an easy, unexamined day and tries to peer through the illusions of the stubborn wood and the refusing posture of metal. She sees, accepts, and calms her own reactions of frustration, of terror, of boredom, of denial, and avoidance.”
“Find a bit of beauty in the world today. Share it. If you can’t find it, create it. Some days this may be hard to do. Persevere.”
Lisa B. Adams
“It’s a toss-up which is scarier: living without electronic access to my country’s culture, or trying to survive in that culture without the self-definition I get from regular immersion in literature.”
≈≈≈ Jonathan Franzen in his essay, “The Reader in Exile”
It is the way to educate your eye, and more.
Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop.
Die knowing something. You are not here long.”
“Baudelaire was right when he called artists beacons.
They light a great fire in the darkness,
and set light to themselves
so as to attract the greatest number of their fellow-beings to them.”